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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 20, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Friday update

The Huskies have concluded their practice at The Galen Center on the campus of USC, working for a while in private in one of the separate practice courts before hitting the main floor to finish up.
It’s a spectacular setting on non-game days as the the windows are left uncovered revealing a startling view of downtown L.A. But because they let in a lot of sun, the windows are typically covered on game days.
The general theme was the importance of the game tomorrow and being patient to deal with the triangle-and-two defense the Huskies expect from USC, which is designed to try to take guards Isaiah Thomas and Justin Dentmon out of the game.
As UW coach Lorenzo Romar said today “we still control our own destiny” in winning the Pac-10 regular season title. But that changes if the Huskies don’t beat USC, as a loss could drop the Huskies to fourth place by the end of the weekend.
“We’ve got to depend on others if we don’t do well tomorrow,” Romar said.
To do well tomorrow, the Huskies will need to decipher the triangle-and-two.
Romar preached to his team today the importance of the big men setting good screens to open up things for the guards, and for the entire team to wait for a good shot. He said he thinks impatience has been one of the team’s biggest issues in its three road losses.
“The bigger problem for us is that we are shooting too quickly,” he said, adding that the Huskies are often shooting with 22-25 seconds left on the shot clock. He said that allows other teams to get into an offensive rhythm and “is not taxing on the defense at all” and gives opponents more possessions. He said he thinks that has led to some of the second-half defensive meltdowns in the three road losses, as well.
UW wore down USC in a 78-73 win in Seattle last month with Thomas awakening to score 16 of his 17 points in the second half.
But the Huskies will see a little different USC team in this one as leading scorer Dwight Lewis will be back in the lineup. He missed the first game with a sprained ankle.
“He makes a huge difference,” Romar said. In particular, he gives USC another outside threat, Romar saying that last time, the Huskies mostly only had to worry about Keith Wilkinson from the outside. “He’s just really, really dangerous,” Romar said of Lewis, who is averaging 15.6 points per game. “He is a true scorer.”
— Romar said the decision not to play Elston Turner last night was simply a coach’s decision. “The nature of the game,” he said. Turner said he’s healthy, though still not 100 percent from the sprained ankle he suffered in late December that caused him to miss four games. But the ankle wasn’t the reason he didn’t play Thursday night.
Jon Brockman said he is feeling about the same as last night while dealing with the flu and strep throat. He said he is taking antibiotics today and hopes a night of rest will help him recover. He was not limited in any way in practice today, he said.
— Brockman had a notable fan at the game Thursday night — Danny Carey, the drummer for Tool, who attended the game in Pauley wearing a Brockman jersey. Carey is friends with Lance LaVetter, UW’s basketball operations director. Brockman wasn’t able to talk with Carey but the two have met before as Brockman says he often listens to Tool as part of his pregame routine.
I’ll be back later with five keys to the game.



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